Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8 Months!

Dear Ben,

Today you are eight months old. Do you know that eight months old is a very fun age? Well, I think it’s fun to be a parent of an eight month old and I guess we’ll just have to wait until you can tell us how you feel about getting another month older.
Why is this a fun age? The response, in list form, just to shake things up a bit.

1. You can sit. I tell you, your ability to sit has opened up your world. You have both hands free to play and explore and no longer need to struggle so hard to maintain your nice posture. (Warning: I’m sure I’ll one day tell you to “Stand up straight!” For now, you’re doing it beautifully.) Plus, I can put you down and have my hands free. It’s nice to sometimes do things without a 21 pound child on one’s hip.2. You can play. Yes, you have been playing for several months now but you seem to be able to entertain yourself for a few more minutes now than before, using simple toys, which usually (read: always) go into your mouth. You like to shake your rattles, knock down towers and grab everything. 3. You share your laughter easily. Must get that from the Rivera side, that’s for sure. Sometimes all I have to do is look at you funny and you giggle. You are ticklish all over and it’s hard to resist poking you in the thighs just to see if I can get a rise out of you. The other day we were sitting in the backyard with our wonderful neighbors and you were in rare form. Our neighbor’s dog was fetching a rubber ball being thrown at her and each time she’d catch it, you would just explode with laughter. That was the first time you belly laughed and it filled my heart with happiness. That was a moment that I know I will remember forever.

4. You enjoy other people. The jury’s still out as to whether you will be an extrovert as you get older and you are still a bit slow to warm in some environments, but you can still turn on the charm. You particularly love seeing your teachers when we get to school in the morning, and will always flash them a gummy grin as we enter the room. I can almost see the light bulb above your head as you recall that these are kind, fun people.

5. You are beginning to interact with other children. At play dates or at school, you love to look at other children. Fortunately, you are very close in age to two other boys in your classroom and I can just imagine the three of you getting into some great mischief when you get older. Thank goodness all three of you are late in getting teeth, otherwise there would be a lot more crying in your classroom!

6. You seem to recognize me as an important person. I tell you, seeing you light up when I walk by your classroom during the day sure makes a gal feel ten feet tall! Fortunately, you aren’t yet in the stage where you freak out when I leave you, but you sure do seem to enjoy the whole “coming back” aspect of separation. 7. You are still flexible and open to new experiences. We do kind of drag you places sometimes (always “going and doing” as the Riveras like to say) and you seem to roll with it pretty well. I know this might not always be the case, but you are still an eager learner and take in the world with wide eyes. We should all be so lucky to be able to appreciate fresh, new experiences as you do. There are many times when I wish I could see the world through your (gray? brown? hazel?) eyes. 8. You have become very active. Your favorite new activity seems to be flopping onto your back and scooting along the floor by digging your heels into the ground. Frequently when I come to your classroom to pick you up at the end of the day, the teachers will explain that the back of your head is red because you were scooting again. They have had to rescue you from every corner of the classroom, it seems. 9. You are developing a personality, and I love it! You certainly are good at letting us know your likes and dislikes. You’ve started to do the, shall we say, interesting back arching trick when you do not want to get into your car seat, stroller or high chair. I know this will not always be so, but we still sort of think it’s cute, you exerting your will and all. I still have to pinch myself some days, you wonderful boy, and remind myself that it is really true; you are my child, flesh of my flesh. How did I get so lucky?

Thank you for another great month of teaching me how to be more patient, to live in the moment, and to try to see things from your perspective. I am an eager learner and you are the best teacher.


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